Grace, I do not disagree with most of what you have written here. However, I would not use the example of the Think Pad to make your point, because that is based on the old IBM model. Unless you are saying that Lenovo has made all of its improvements in battery life, etc., and that these improvements are characteristically Chinese... I think that the Lenovo design I sent you is a better example of one way that Chinese sensibility has been considered in product design.
However, I do disagree with you about Japan. Japan has always had a very strong design ethic. In fact, in World War 2, the Allied bombers were instructed to not drop bombs on Kyoto, because of its importance as a cultural capital. If you go to Kyoto today, you can see all of the beautiful wooden buildings that are very, very old, and that capture the essence of Japanese design. It seems to me that this kind of continuity is essential to achieving some kind of national design style. In China, everything was forgotten in the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward, so I don't think that it is really possible to recapture that except through a kind of fake, Disney-like historical copying.